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Home National Rare sea otters in the wild become tourism draw for Hokkaido town

Rare sea otters in the wild become tourism draw for Hokkaido town

A village on the eastern coastline of Hokkaido has actually seen a spreading of uncommon wild sea otters, offering it really hopes of coming to be a traveler location each time when the threatened aquatic animal has actually been disappearing from Japanese fish tanks.

“I would love to come here again,” stated Satoshi Ishizuka, 53, that was seeing Cape Kiritappu in Hamanaka from Kanagawa Prefecture on a night in mid-August while he excitedly viewed an otter, swimming with its direct, duck behind some rocks.

Sea otters can be observed year-round at the cape, also as their numbers diminish substantially at fish tanks because of worldwide profession limitations and also maturing populaces.

The visitor market is specifically delighted.

The supervisor of the Kawamura Ryokan inn in Hamanaka stated there has actually been a rise in individuals including premium electronic cameras to picture the otters.

Katsuya Yumoto, head of the sales administration division at a holiday company in the city of Kitami in Hokkaido’s Okhotsk area, stated, “I would like to propose an attractive travel plan for people, such as eating oysters from Akkeshi (in Hokkaido’s Kushiro region) and stopping by Cape Kiritappu to see the sea otters.”

Yoshihiro Kataoka, 72, that released a photobook of sea otters around the cape, guesses that sea otters in the Northern Territories– as Japan calls 4 Russian- held islands off Hokkaido that Tokyo insurance claims– have actually increased their environment and also given that been experienced in Hamanaka.

In 2017, 2 women and also one man otter were verified there. With the enhancement of a brand-new man, 4 infants had actually been birthed since in 2015. Only one grownup was elevated, however a 5th otter was birthed in April this year.

“Breeding is not so easy because the pups are sometimes bitten to death by male otters that aren’t their father. I hope we can increase the number of offspring somehow,” stated Kataoka.

Trade in wild sea otters is limited as they have actually seen their populaces lowered because of overhunting for their hair, making them uncommon in residential fish tanks.

Sea otters can be seen year-round at Cape Kiritappu.|THANKS TO YOSHIHIRO KATAOKA/ VIA KYODO

According to the Japanese Association of Zoos and also Aquariums, based in Tokyo, at their top in 1994 there were 122 sea otters at 28 centers around the nation.

But presently just 6 sea otters are being elevated at 4 fish tanks; Adventure World (Wakayama Prefecture), Marine World Uminonakamichi (Fukuoka Prefecture), Toba Aquarium (Mie Prefecture), and also Suma Aqua Life Park Kobe (Hyogo Prefecture).

That might transform, nevertheless, if the reproduction of sea otters at Cape Kiritappu starts to endanger the regional angling market, with the pets consuming large quantities of fish and shellfish. In that instance, the otters might be recorded and also sent out to fish tanks.

Naonori Okada, secretary-general of the organization, provided an instance of the Environment Ministry moving recorded harbor seals to different fish tanks in and also after 2016 because of harm to the angling market at Cape Erimo at the southerly idea of Hokkaido.

“If there are more sea otters and they are captured, aquariums might be willing to accept them,” stated Okada.

While an authorities of the Hamanaka Fisheries Cooperative confessed to fretting about wide-scale damages, for the time existing has actually been no recognizable influence.

“We would like to explore their utilization as a tourist resource while considering their coexistence with fishermen,” stated a Hamanaka community authorities.


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